Old Davie still did much farm work by hand.
Tae thin neeps, ye gae up an doon thae rowse.
Leave jist yin each six inches, sae it growse.
The thought of lunch was a breeze-fanned island,
What is the time? our common famous question.
The shrinking patch of field still to be weeded
was joy and thought we’d be no longer needed.
He’d blow through his lips: Gerad, ye’re the best yin
O thae young uns that come here!
Or biggest fool
I sometimes thought, those languid days
After the last exams, when I skipped school.
But no jam pieces nor hot tea’s tasted more
Significant than that field’s, and strongest praise
The two green pounds each day’s end, my limbs sore.
About this poem
This poem was reproduced on a postcard for National Poetry Day 2008. Eight poetry postcards are published each year by the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate National Poetry Day and are distributed throughout Scotland to schools, libraries and other venues. The theme for 2008 was work. You can find out more about National Poetry Day in our National Poetry Day pages, where you’ll also find resources to go with the poems.